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Pelvic Washing and Cancer Cells

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

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What is pelvic washing?


A pelvic wash, also called peritoneal washing cytology, or PWC, is a procedure in which the pelvic cavity is irrigated ("washed") to check for cancer cells that have migrated beyond the cancer’s point of origin. Fluid is instilled into the abdominal cavity and washed around the abdominal organs, then withdrawn and analyzed for the presence of abnormal cells. A positive result may indicate that the cancer has begun to spread (metastasize).

Some doctors believe the presence of stray cancer cells in the pelvic wash is meaningful, while others do not. If you do not know if a wash was performed during your surgery, look for the word “cytology” on your report or simply ask the doctor or nurse to check the detailed report for you. Most oncologists do perform at least one wash during surgery.

If you do get a positive result for cancer cells in your pelvic wash, do not panic. Most doctors will recommend radiation therapy in such a case, and the radiation will most likely take care of any stray cells remaining in your abdomen.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

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Find a Surgeon

HysterSisters Doctor Directory
Ken Sinervo, M.D.
1140 Hammond Dr., Ste. F6220
Atlanta GA 30328
770-913-0001
James Greenberg, M.D.
1153 Centre Street #36
Jamaica Plain MA 02130
617-983-7003
Melvin Ashford, M.D.
2603 White Bear Avenue N
Maplewood MN 55109
651-600-3035
Geoffrey Bowers, M.D.
2401 E Evesham Rd
Suite A
Voorhees NJ 08043
856-424-3323
Ellen Wilson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd - Dept of OBGYN
Dallas TX 75390
214-648-4747
Gerald Harkins, M.D.
Department of OB-Gyn
P.O. Box 850, H-103
Hershey PA 17033
717-531-6447
Beverly Love, M.D.
46 Sgt. Prentiss Dr.
Natchez MS 39120
601-442-3701
Jane Starr, M.D.
16651 SW FWY #200
Sugar Land TX 77479
713-774-5131
David Mainman, M.D.
Desert Bloom Obstetrics & Gynecology
6452 E. Carondelet Drive, Suite A
Tucson AZ 85710
520-885-5300

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July 24,2014

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